IIAS Newsletter 49 Autumn 2008

Violence and love: the mobilisation of Karachi's Mohajir youth

Nichola Khan

Once synonymous with the ‘revolutionary’ violence that galvanised Mohajir youth in the Karachi conflict (c.1985-2002), since 2002, MQM-ingovernment has pursued a modernising agenda of ‘progress’ and ‘development’, transforming Karachi’s youth culture. MQM’s new agenda is not just a question of militancy or modernisation, but rather strategic, historical practices with shared motives and outcomes. Practices reflecting common desires for social advancement, expressed simultaneously in the discourses and practices of violence and of romantic love. This paper is concerned with the ways individuals have been recruited to MQM’s agendas of militancy and modernisation.

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